October 19th, 2007
08:00 AM ET
7 years ago

Democrat: Soldiers dying for Bush's 'amusement'

Republicans quickly condemned Stark's comments Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rep. Pete Stark, D-California, is facing fire from Republicans for comments on the House floor Thursday suggesting Americans are dying in Iraq for President Bush's amusement.

Sharply critical of Bush’s veto of the children's health insurance legislation, Stark said Republicans are spending money "to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough … to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."

Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan quickly condemned the comments, saying in a statement they are "an insult to every American, Democrat or Republican."

"The leaders of the Democrat Party, including Nancy Pelosi and their presidential candidates, need to stand up and make it clear that this kind of attack is unacceptable from any elected official," Duncan added.

Stark later issued a statement saying, "I have nothing but respect for our brave men and women in uniform and wish them the very best,” said Stark. “But I respect neither the Commander-in-Chief who keeps them in harms way nor the chickenhawks in Congress who vote to deny children health care."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Iraq • President Bush
soundoff (587 Responses)
  1. my911call, Wilmington, NC

    This is a clear cut opinion that has some merit. I don't think just because the Republicans don't like hearing what he said, it is "an insult to every American". We are in Iraq because we are trying to clean up Bush's mistakes and Americans are dying during this process.

    October 19, 2007 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  2. Anonymous

    I cannot understand what they find so objectionable. He's calling a spade a shovel and it's about time the usurper in the White House got it shoved up his nose.

    October 19, 2007 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  3. shiki, Lusby MD

    Rep. Stark hit the nail on the head. I'm glad he had the cojones to speak the truth and not to back down when Duncan began his limp wristed pandering. Bush, Congress, your actions and inactions are an insult to every American, Democrat or Republican!

    October 19, 2007 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  4. Ed, Hannibal NY

    Wow! Finally a politician that says it like it is.

    October 19, 2007 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  5. Daniele, San Diego, CA

    Good for Pete Stark, finally a democrat with a backbone. The republicans are evil, greedy, power drunk psychopaths and George Bush is their leader. They would allow every american soldier to die if they thought it would improve their ratings.

    October 19, 2007 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  6. Greg, Englewood, CO

    I think that the comments that Rep. Peter Spark said are very true. We are in Iraq because Mr. Bush was trying to finish what his dad did not finish not because they where a problem. Mr. Bush has hurt our image all over the world. But yet we continue to let this man that has the lowest rating continue to send our children, brothers, and sisters to be killed. I don't see his kids over there? His daughter said that her skills where better used working with third world countries. Why didn't all those men and women given the same choice? They are promised all this training and opportunity but to get it you must go and try to stay alive first. Mr. Bush is using our love ones as his own private toy collection.

    October 19, 2007 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  7. leo landkamer ocean shores WA

    The Bush foreign policy is :

    "an insult to every American, Democrat or Republican."

    sincerely leo

    October 19, 2007 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  8. v. steele san diego california

    It may sound "inflammatory" but the situation is, to my mind, exactly as Stark describes it. Bush seems to enjoy being at war-the way he talks about it, smiles inappropriately when he's saying something very serious, and in his bull-headed opinion. It IS impossible for me as an American-as a human being- to respect THIS presidency-Bush at all. There's a certain level of decorum to use in the House and Senate most times yes, but, at times like right now, the dialogue and comments like Stark's SHOULD match the lunacy of this administration's attitude. Claiming to disagree with or not having enough money for a child's health care bill is absurdly ironic while because of a blunderous, ill-planned and unnecessary war killing even 19 year old Americans is going on. I'm too mad to be eloquent.
    Time to just get to the point of the insult this war is on us as Americans. ALL of us.

    October 19, 2007 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  9. James, Phoenix AZ

    Right on!! Finally, someone has the courage to speak the truth. All Dubya has done is to create the next two or three generations of suicide bombers.

    October 19, 2007 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  10. daniel molitor

    It's about time a democrat grew a spine. Bravo to Congressman Stark! Don't back down!

    October 19, 2007 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  11. Max, Honolulu, HI

    I would rather have a politician speak his mind, eloquently or not, so we know where he stands than have a president who is despised like our current "leader." It's even better that I agree with him.

    October 19, 2007 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  12. Daniel, Dunnellon, Florida

    Pete Stark speaks the truth, and he gets blasted for it. Speaking any amount of truth about our current administration gets a person singled out, labeled and discredited. That's a sad state of affairs and I'm getting very sick of it.

    October 19, 2007 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  13. mike adkins, charlotte, nc

    pete stark spoke his mind like the constitution says he can. the republicans just can't handle the truth. 75% of the american people have no respect for george w bush (who avoided putting himself in harms way) but will send others to do his dirty work.

    October 19, 2007 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  14. J.B. Dallas TX

    The veto was the right thing... its one thing to give health care to poor individuals but when you start encompassing the upper middle class thats another. SCHIP was a good program that was then defiled by the democrats and their socialistic ways. The program was good the way bush proposed... but as always the libs want to push forward their agenda.

    As a young professional I find all of this current rash of disgusting quotes from the Democrats as childlike. They don't get their way and they cry and call names. I hope this continues because the more it does... the more my friends who are on the fence politically keep jumping over to my side.

    October 19, 2007 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  15. jenifer, madison, wi

    I'm confused why Congressional Republican leaders don't also mispronounce other words – like "nucular" – as the president does?

    It seems that, in an attempt to make Bush appear a tad smarter, they've all adopted the word "Democrat" as an adjective, even though it's grammatically incorrect.

    "Well, if we ALL sound stupid, then eventually it won't sound stupid any more. Right? Right??"

    October 19, 2007 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  16. Jaik , chicago, IL

    Well that's pretty accurate, they are serving George's amusement and little else is being accomplished. The goals are non millitary at this point, they have no purpose to serve, except earning their deferments like tuition mercenaries. But at least they are being kept busy enough to not be able to "preemptively" attack and destabillize any other countries in the region on false pretenses.

    October 19, 2007 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  17. Daniel, NY

    Check out these JUST updated detailed House ratings to figure out where things stand in the fight for the House!

    October 19, 2007 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  18. jimi, long island, new york


    October 19, 2007 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  19. e.Rivera Albuquerque NM

    The truth will aways be condemned by this White House.

    October 19, 2007 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  20. gayswithoutborders


    October 19, 2007 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  21. nikki San Diego,California


    October 19, 2007 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  22. Jmes Cinci OHi

    For a person to stand her/his ground is a complicated mess. Truth lies in the individual. Make decisions based on fact......

    October 19, 2007 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  23. THOMAS BILLIS las vegas nv

    Pete Stark for President,a Pete Stark clone for Speaker of the House and Pete Stark robot for majority leader in the Senate.What is obscene is this war and the monkey running it.

    October 19, 2007 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  24. CMSgt John Sledz currently in Iraq

    As a active duty member who has been in the Air Force for 28 years I'm kind of tired of listening to blowhards like Rep Starks who speak on behave of us in the military. We joined the military to defend our country. THAT IS WHAT WE are doing in Iraq, Afghanistan and world wide. If only during the Clinton years we would have taken the fight to the terrorists instead of sitting back and let them continue to kill Americans in the US and across the world we would be better off. But no, during the first World Trade Center bombing, Khobar Towers, Embassy bombings, USS Cole, and eventually 9/11. I fully support President Bush for taking the fight to the terrorists.

    October 19, 2007 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  25. CH, Philiadelphia, PA

    Why would this attack be unacceptable from any elected official? It's true! Most of the Republicans would rather spend billions on a bogus war than on helping our own children! And if this war isn't for the President's and Cheney's amusement, then what is it? There's certainly nothing legitimate about it. I think the reason that Mike Duncan was so quick to throw a tantrum about the comment, is because he knows that it's true, and want's to shift the focus away from the facts. He's just using the tried and true GOP defense tactic: If they criticize ANY aspect of the war in Iraq, just call them un-patriotic, and that'll be the end of that.

    October 19, 2007 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
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